Five Poems by Austin James

Home Sick

something like…
the captive housefly
hanging–coiled–from our ceiling
to wither/starve/thirsting
for an easy way to die.
what about…tired
tubes of toothpaste:
malnourished, innards
(purged of purpose).
or…the cigarette ashes
straying in the breeze out front,
homeless leftovers/remains
of former comfort.
maybe…the litter box:
black nests of fresh ammonia
(stinging nostrils)
shit clumping within.
…like your handgun
(revolver) locked away
from dust and bullets,
its Man-given sex appeal.

: because when you’re gone
this place isn’t home
for me either.


claiming a sun spot
on the carpet, grooming
her long hair like
a calico barn owl
licking its feathers
before a midnight feast

feverish with flea bite
hollow stomach and matted fur
blending in with the feral

blood in your feline hair
from bathing with
infected gums

anxiety and ungrace
has your cuddle and purr
fallen to the illness
old friend?
now you just yowl
at the door
hoping to sleep
in the sun

Silly Love Poem

Poets write love
as marshmallow hot chocolate
in cottontail snow.
No( ! )
Love is the sun and moon,
sharing equal watch over the sky
and keeping the tides accountable
for their actions.

Spare Change

churchy community Christmas tree
hinting gift ideas for needy families
the ones that just want
tents that don’t leak
and blankets w/out holes
to keep their families out of the
Chattahoochee seasons.
the ones that secretly wish for
a new pair of shoes (men’s size 10).
the ones sleeping on asphalt.

but i’ve thrown Change at
Salvation Army coffers
so i curl on the couch
with my cat—frost collecting on
car windows outside.


lazy meteor spray
of hot cigarette ash from
the balcony/upstairs
neighbor is already awake
although it’s too early
for foot-traffic.
cozy sheet of dew drapes
the lawn, the shrubbery,
the windshields of sleepy cars
(crowded together like cattle).
coffee: speechless black
with two ice cubes because
it’s best at room temperature.
used to be, I’d have smoked a few
cigarettes by now.
some mornings
are lonely empty
without them.

Austin James is a functional scitzoholic with caffeine in his blood, gypsy spit in his spinal fluid, and an incredibly lazy pseudonym. His prose and poetry have been published in multiple magazines and medias (such as Bizarro Central and CLASH Media), as well as a few books and anthologies.